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Lansdowne Theater Workshop

Posted: 16th January 2010

Location: Lansdowne Theater, Lansdowne PA
March 5, 2016 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Cost: $115/ea.

The Site: According to the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corp., "The Stanley Warner Company and Herbert Effinger commissioned renowned and prolific theater architect William H. Lee to design a 1300-seat movie theater in the heart of Lansdowne’s Central Business District. Based in Philadelphia, Lee designed more than 80 movie houses one as far away as Hawaii. Designed in the popular Hollywood Moorish style, the $250,000 theater was opened just before the advent of the “talkies” and harkens to the days of romantic silent films. Visitors moved through the front doors, up an incline, and into a Moorish style courtyard with fountains at each end. Large lighting fixtures hung in the lobby, which opened to the grand auditorium. With its elaborately painted ceiling, grand chandelier,balconies, and large proscenium, the theater is a feast for the eyes.

The Lansdowne Theater opened on June 1, 1927, featuring the silent film “Knockout Riley” starring Richard Dix. The opening event was overseen by John J. McGuirk, president of the Stanley Company, the predecessor of Warner Brothers. Mr. McGuirk described The Lansdowne as “the best example of suburban theatre construction around Philadelphia.” Adding to the excitement of the day was an appearance by Miss Lansdowne, who flew over the theater in a biplane, dropping roses to the audience below. (That year Miss Lansdowne happened to be an exchange student from Sweden.) Films were shown Monday through Saturday at 2:30, 7:00, and 9:00 p.m. Ticket prices ranged from 15¢ to 35¢."

The theater was closed due to an electrical fire in the basement in 1987. Since purchasing the building in 2007, the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation has been working to return the building to use: "much-needed repairs to the roof have been made, a fire detection system has been installed throughout, obsolete and unused mechanical systems have been removed, second floor offices have been renovated, and retail stores have been brought into compliance with building codes."

50% of all profits go to the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corp.

The Workshop: During this small workshop (max 13 people) I will be on hand to help you get better shots - these environments can be pretty tough to navigate photographically and I encourage you to come with questions. Learning to use a tripod, what file format to shoot in, how to compose shots better, what ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed affect, and how to do things like exposure bracketing are very important to your results. Don't feel afraid to ask me even questions that may seem silly to you. I want you to leave with pictures you're proud of. I've been doing this for a while and want you to learn from my mistakes and successes. If you feel you do not need/want instruction, if you are a complete novice, or even if you aren't a photographer and would just like to see the workshops/locations, you are welcome to join.

Safety: I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. Site managers will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owners or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to be the one looking out for that.

What to bring:
- a bottle of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.
- It's not necessary but a remote shutter switch is a nice thing to have and you can get a cheap one on Amazon for about $6 depending on your camera.

By signing up you agree to the following terms: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. You will need to sign a waiver to participate in this event, a sample of which can be found here. By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or set up alternate workshops/events.

REFUND POLICY: If you are unable to attend an event and notify me at admin@abandonedamerica.org more than 30 days prior to the event, you will be issued a full refund minus a $40 processing fee. Because of the extremely limited tour spots, if it is within 30 days of the event there are NO REFUNDS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES except in case of workshop cancellation by Abandoned America. You may give or sell a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend but admission may not be transferred to another event. There is always a possibility that the workshop may need to be moved to a different date based on severe inclement weather, safety concerns, or site manager's limitations. If this is the case notification will be given immediately and a refund will be offered if attendee is unable to make the alternate date. We cannot be held liable for travel, rental, or other costs incurred by attendee in the event of workshop cancellation. We do make every effort to ensure all events run on schedule. All sales are final.

Any questions? Send me a note at admin@abandonedamerica.org - if the PayPal link is immediately below this there are still open spots.

March 5, 2016


Photo comment By Darlene Kiener: The "O" is missing... :) Was there a reason the center section of seats are gone? Regardless, what a thrill to see this place and imagine all in its former glory.
Photo comment By Roxanne Hatcher-Frato: I grew up going to this theater every weekend. It truly is a treasure that should be preserved thru time, so much history.
Photo comment By Katie: Wow, these are just, beautiful,absolutely breathtaking

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